• This entry was posted in on December 29, 2016

  • A lot of us spent Thanksgiving until now indulging in our favorite treats, takeout meals, and Netflix shows. January (and its inevitable healthier choices) was viewed as a chore in the far-off, distant future.

    But guess what? It’s that time again! Take a few moments before the month ends to pick out your New Year’s Resolution, and formulate a plan for how to make it stick. Here are seven of the most common resolutions, with a few reasons why they might work for you.

    Eat a healthier diet. Thanksgiving and Christmas bring out the worst in us when it comes to healthy eating habits. Cleaning up your diet can help you lose weight, feel better, have more energy, and even have better relationships.

    Be more active and get in shape. Regular exercise substantially improves our ability to handle the stress of everyday life, and view our circumstances with a fresh and positive outlook. Physical and mental health benefits aside, finding and enjoying a physical activity that works for you is also a lot of fun.

    Cut back on alcohol. Excessive drinking increases your risk for all kinds of health issues: high blood pressure, liver disease, stroke, cancer, depression, and more. The list goes on and on.

    Spend more time with your family. The holiday season reminds us how much we enjoy spending time with our loved ones. A goal to share more hours with the people who mean the most to you is unmatched in importance.

    Save more money. Cutting back on the money you spend socializing and eating out at restaurants can significantly pad your bank account (not to mention, improve your health), giving you the funds to try new activities, travel, or check out a new art or fitness class.

    Read more. Some studies show people who read are happiest. Escaping into a story tends to put our problems in prospective. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy curling up with an intriguing mystery novel on a Sunday afternoon?

    Reduce your social media time. Social media can help us stay connected to friends, colleagues, and family members, but the constant news updates and messages can sometimes be too much. Getting less “tuned in” might be a healthy goal for you.

    It can be hard to make major lifestyle changes, but it can also be exciting. Don’t get bummed about what you’re giving up – get pumped about what you’re gaining. This is a chance to create a newer, better, and happier you. Here’s to an outstanding – and renewing – New Year!

  • This entry was posted in Toys on December 19, 2016

  • As the holiday approach, many children have a list of toys that they want from Santa Claus, or Mom and Dad. In many cases, they have outgrown or no longer play with some of their toys. This is a good time of year to recycle your children's toys and make room for the new ones that they receive over the holidays. It's also a great way to give back to the community and to keep unnecessary items out of the landfills.


    When planning to recycle your kids' toys, survey their forgotten and neglected games, trikes and stuffed animals for gently used or like-new items. Kids' toys that have plenty of wear and love left in them can find a new home for the holidays. Whether it's a charity, the nursery at a local place of worship, a children's hospital or a daycare center, gently used toys and games can be recycled and reborn. Some organizations will help the toys find good homes by giving them to local families, while others put them in their thrift stores to help support the organization financially. If you don't have a favorite charity that accepts gently used toys, consider one of these:

    - Goodwill Industries

    - The Salvation Army

    - Second Chance Toys


    Unused Toys

    Every now and then, your child may receive a great toy that is inappropriate for their age or doesn't suit their personality. While these like-new toys can also be donated to the charities mentioned above, Toys for Tots takes new toy donations during the holiday season and throughout the year. These items are given to less fortunate children in the community.


    Call Ahead

    Check with your local charity to find out if they are, in fact, collecting gently used toys before you head over. Some, such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill may have a truck pick-up service in your area and you can schedule a donation date.


    Cleaning Your Toys

    Most charities that do recycle toys prefer them to be clean and unbroken with no missing parts. Check their policies. Some will clean and fix toys upon their arrival; others won't.


    - Plastic and metal toys can be cleaned with soap and water or household cleaning products. Be sure to dry them thoroughly.


    - Plush stuffed animals can be laundered by hand or in the washing machine in a zippered pillowcase or mesh laundry bag on the gentle cycle. Put them in with a light load of clothes or linens in cold or warm water. Hang them up to dry using a skirt hanger or clothespins. Check the care labels, if possible. Avoid putting cloth or plush toys with removable parts, lace, flimsy attachments, Styrofoam stuffing pellets or glued-on objects (other than eyes) into the machine.


    As the holidays approach, it's a good time to take inventory of the types of toys that your children have and what is age appropriate for them. Recycling toys that they have outgrown can help the community in many different ways.


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